Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Is Your Story's "Take-Away"

I have to first state that I am not one who jumps all over the new "catch phrase" but I had to in this case. I want to simply know what you want your reader to walk away with when they finish their story?

This "take away" is really the driving force of your story. It is the ultimate goal you want to make in your story. This idea is that level of the human nature that you as an author want your reader to sit up and take notice of. In many ways, this is the theme of your story.

I have to say, I find that there are far too many stories that I read (both from published and unpublished authors) that leave me questioning what the purpose was behind this book. Why on earth did the author even sit down and start crafting the novel in the first place? Sure, there were funny elements, or touching elements in the books? Maybe there were great sex scenes. But, in the end, I still sat back and started asking why?

Now, some of you might be saying that the only purpose is to entertain. Personally, I think this is a cop-out answer. If we go back to the earliest traditions of storytelling, we're talking the oral tradition here, stories were told to teach, to instuct, to glorify, and yes, they did it to entertain. Literature is about the human spirit so why leave that out?

If you find that you are reading your current work and feeling that something is lacking, ask yourself what the take-away is for your novel. My bet - you're missing it!



  1. I read your blog every morning and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your advice and candor. Another great post today, thank you!

  2. I always try to think of the take-away, but it's not a simple as you make it sound. Thanks.